Jawan martyred, minor girl killed
An army jawan was martyred while a minor girl became victim of heavy mortar shelling by the Pakistan Army since early morning in both the frontier districts of Rajouri and Poonch on Monday.
More than 5000 local residents living in the forward areas of Rajori were affected by the intense shelling on civilian areas while over one dozen schools were closed down as precautionary measure to ensure safety of school children.
The district authorities faced tough times while escorting 120 students, held up in Govt School at Panjgrain, to safety.
At both the places the Indian Army retaliated, triggering heavy exchanges.
A Jammu based Defence spokesman said, "the Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked firing on Indian Army posts in Rajouri sector and Poonch district around 0730 hours. The Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively".
In the fire exchange, Naik Muddasar Ahmed was grievously injured when mortar shells landed on his bunker, the spokesman said, adding that he was evacuated to the MI room where he succumbed to injuries.
According to Dr Mehmood Choudhary, Deputy Medical Superintendent of Rajouri district hospital, the army jawan had received fatal injury on his right leg. Dr Choudhary said, the army jawan died because of excessive bleeding. His muscles, major blood vessels were ruptured due to impact of the blast
The 37-year-old jawan, who hailed from Duchoo village, is survived by his wife Shaheena Muddasar and two children.
Pakistan also shelled mortars on civilian areas in Balakote, Manjakote and Behrooti belts, a police officer said. In the firing and shelling, 8-year-old Sajida Houser was killed at Behrooti, the officer said.
Since July 1, four army jawans have been martyred while three civilians were killed in repeated incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistan Army along the LoC.
Meanwhile, weekly cross LoC carvan-e-Aman (Peace bus) also remained suspended for the second consecutive week in the wake of escalation of tension along the line of control.
Tanveer Ahmad, Custodian at Trade Facilitation centre, Poonch told The Pioneer, the peace bus service remained suspended for the second week in succession as Pak army refused to throw open the gates to allow the passengers from POK to enter Rawalakote via Chakan-da-bagh. Official sources said, 85 POK passengers are stranded in Poonch while 2 Indian passengers are stranded in POK.
Deputy Development commissioner, Rajouri Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary who coordinated relief efforts in a statement said, "Heavy mortal shelling was reported in forward areas of Tehsil Manjakote in Rajouri at 8.30 a.m.He said estimated population of 4500-5000 in villages of Panjgrain, Rajdhani and Naika among others was affected.
Two civilians were injured during shelling. One seriously injured Shah Begum W/O Mohd Sharief R/O Panjgrain was admitted in district hospital while other injured Sharief Ahmed was given first aid.The district administration in Rajouri had also notified relief centres and deployed Ambulances in forward areas to safely evacuate injured.
The local residents were issued advisory by the local authorities to remain indoors and not to venture out during intense shelling from across the line of control.
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